Things I’m Loving Friday #146

Good morning, my friends! I hope you are doing well on this lovely Friday and that your weekend plans are a combination of relaxing and exciting.

Ryan left yesterday afternoon to join my dad and some diving buddies for a weekend of spear fishing and scuba diving in the Florida Keys so it looks like Chase will be enjoying lots of time with the ladies of the house (Sadie included!) this weekend.

Before the busyness of the weekend sets in, I wanted to take a moment to share my weekly Things I’m Loving Friday blog post with you guys this morning. Below you will find a small roundup of a few things that are making me smile this week. As always, I’d love for you to join in the fun in the comments section of this post.

Have a terrific weekend!

Things I’m Loving Friday

  • Double Chocolate Protein Balls

Ridiculously Easy Double Chocolate Protein Balls

I whipped up a batch of these double chocolate protein balls on Wednesday inspired by Tina’s recipe for her peanut butter protein balls and oh my gosh they were so good! They tasted like peanut butter and chocolate-flavored brownie batter and I could not stop eating them! They’re simple to make and don’t require a food processor, so if you’re looking for a tasty protein-packed snack you can grab on your way out the door, definitely give them a try.

To make the double chocolate protein balls, simply combine the following ingredients in a large bowl: 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (a runny, all-natural kind works best!), 1/2 cup oats, 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey), 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and a splash or two of water if the batter is too dry to shape into balls. Roll into 12 balls, refrigerate and enjoy!

  • Mid-Week Date Night

crafty burgr date night

With Ryan heading out of town on Thursday, my mom encouraged us to take advantage of her offer to watch Chase and head out on a Wednesday evening date night. We couldn’t say no and happily drove to Crafty Burg’r, a new burger joint and tap house, to grab burgers and beer… and nachos to start because I had a serious craving! It was so, so nice to enjoy a laidback meal with Ryan without any distractions.

Shotgun Betty Beer

(This was my first time trying Shotgun Betty, a hefeweizen beer brewed in Raleigh, and I loved it! Ryan and I joked that it would be the perfect beer to pair with a round of the Wild West Game Bang! for our next game night.)

Crafty Burgr Cornelius

We laughed a lot and had the best time, chatting about a combination of stupid, silly stuff that always cracks us up and some meatier topics. I love my husband and I also love our shared love for ice cream because we wrapped up our date night with his and hers cups of s’mores ice cream which tasted perfectly cool and creamy on a hot summer night.

  • Dad’s First Half Ironman Relay Finish

Ecuador Half Ironman Relay

Please allow me to brag about my dad for a minute because I am one heck of a proud daughter! Last Sunday my dad completed his first Half Ironman Relay in Ecuador! He was the biker for his team and rode 55.9 very hilly miles in 3 hours and 17 minutes. My dad poured so much time, energy and sweat into training for the race by doing a bunch of bridge repeat rides in Jacksonville (Florida doesn’t exactly have many hills to train on) and his effort clearly paid off. My dad registered for the race before we picked Chase’s birthday party weekend so we really missed him here in Charlotte but my mom, sister and I were tracking him along the way and were so incredibly proud of his dedication and commitment to this challenging race. We all wish we could’ve been there to cheer for my dad and his team in person but we sent all the love and support we could his way from North Carolina. I’m so proud! Super Daaaad!

  • Summery Tervis Tumblers

Tervis Tumbler Sippy Cup Sunshine

I swear you guys are some of the most thoughtful blog readers in the world! After seeing me post a bunch of different pictures of drinks and smoothies in various Tervis Tumbler cups on Snapchat, Rianna, a blog reader who happens to work for Tervis Tumbler, sent me the sweetest package featuring sunshine and sunflower-themed Tervis Tumblers for me and Chase. They perfectly match is first birthday party theme and I love them so much! What a great way to remember Chase’s special day. (Also, just FYI, Rianna let me know that Tervis Tumbler had 45 stores nationwide and can customize their cups and put patches and pictures in them as well. Love this idea for a bachelorette party or bridal party!) Thank you so much, Rianna!!

  • Truett-Hurst 2014 Dark Horse GPS

Truett Hurst Wine

My sister and Ross brought this bottle of wine to share with us during their visit last weekend and we all loved it so much that I knew I had to snap a picture to share in today’s post. Leslie and Ross’ friends brought it back for them from California so we felt pretty darn special when they offered to open it to enjoy with all of us. It was absolutely wonderful and tasted especially fantastic after a long day celebrating the birthday boy last Saturday.

  • Friday Flashbacks

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding (I made this for dessert earlier this week and almost forgot how much I love this recipe!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

30 Minute Boot Camp Workout (Complete two rounds of this one for a sweaty 30 minute workout!)

30 minute boot camp workout

  • Around the Web

Food: 28 Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas / Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups / Lemon Avocado Hummus / Best Sardine Salad

Fitness: Fall Online Half Marathon Training Group / 15 Minute Core Workout / Pyramid Workout /

Interesting Reads: Morning Habits of Fitness Enthusiasts (Thanks for the shout out, DailyBurn!) / Colleen’s Blog Is Back! / Let’s All Improve The Silence

Question of the Day

  • What is one thing that is making you smile this week?


  1. says

    Congratulations to your pop on such an incredible accomplishment! I’m training (lazily) for my first half marathon, and I cannot even imagine biking through a hilly 55.9 miles!

    Hope you have a beautiful weekend with Chase and your mom, Julie! 🙂


  2. says

    Wow I will be making those chocolate protein balls–i actually have all of those ingredients on hand! Dont you love when that happens?! 😀 So glad you got in a no-distractions date night–love those!
    This week I’m loving yoga!


  3. Fiona MacDonald says

    I need to get on the protein ball band wagon. Friends made me some when I first had Sully and they were a life saver and now being back at work and early (read 5 am workouts) they’d be perfect for a quick snack before my workouts. Can I ask what protein powder you use? I used to have a huge tub from Costco but it was VERY powder tasting and now I’ve just tried to use food sources for protein but I have been thinking more about adding it to smoothies just for an extra ‘filler’ of fullness during my day.

    My husband is away in two weeks on a long weekend too so it’s nice to have someone around to help out! Hats off to parents who solo parent full time…it’s not an easy job any day especially doing it alone! Have a great weekend!


  4. says

    Congrats to your dad! I’m smiling this week because I’m really excited about the Olympics!

    I will definitely make those protein balls. I’ve actually been on the lookout for a good recipe to try so this was perfect timing.


  5. says

    We never {ever} say no to a date night!! I love mid-week dates because the restaurants are less busy! 🙂 We went on a date this Thursday for our anniversary and it was the best ever! It’s amazing how valuable uninterrupted conversation i… and how refreshing it can be to just sit together, eat tons of food and talk! 🙂 <3


  6. Elle says

    I’m always impressed with the cooking you do with a little one around. Could you do a post with your favorite quick, healthy recipes when having such little time? I’m about to go back to work and will have a 3 month old at home. I LOVE a good crock pot recipe, but it’s hard to find healthy ones. Any recipe suggestions???


  7. says

    Ah, protein balls and date nights must be amazing! I don’t have a boyfriend yet, but I do love going on special dates with myself–whether I’m going to a lovely restaurant, a bookstore or even for a walk in the park, I absolutely adore spending a day with some “me time”!


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